Welcome to My Obsession

June 2, 2016 § Leave a comment

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Maxene writes,

I’ve recently found this podcast called Welcome to Night Vale. And when I get obsessed with something, I get OBSESSED. So I find myself talking nonstop about the characters’ plights and about the ship Cecil and Carlos which is canon (Thank you, Joseph Fink). And I find that my family, brother, and even my friends are starting to get annoyed by it. My brother even lashed out at me for liking something so morbid and confusing. And to make it worse, none of my friends listen to it, so it just makes me look crazy when I rant on and on about it. Do you have any suggestions that might help me try to tone down my obsession with this podcast? Thanks!

Hi Maxene,

Things that are morbid and confusing can be great. I’m not current on Night Vale, but I’ve listened to a lot of episodes and been to two of their live shows. So I know there’s an incredibly enthusiastic fanbase. You are not alone.

Here’s the thing. Fangirls often face friends and family who don’t share our level of enthusiasm. We usually have one of three responses:

  1. Try to convert them.
  2. Hide our passions.
  3. Stomp around and feel sad.

But fangirling can’t be about convincing. And it can’t be about hiding either.  It can’t be about whether people choose to honor our obsessions or make fun of them. It has to be about the joy of simply being in the middle of it. To quote Night Vale,

Dream big. Dream looming. Dream a force that is so beyond you in scale that you mistake it for the world.

The more I decided to be honest and open about my fangirling, the more I realized that it wasn’t about whether people wanted to watch my favorite show, or cry about my favorite actress, or even understand the reasons for my enthusiasm. It was about presenting my authentic self to the world. And I found people who loved that person. People who accepted the Kathleen who was creative, honest, and a little ridiculous. I didn’t need them to love my shows, because they loved the person I was because of them. Which is a pretty great feeling.

So Maxene, let me ask you this. What does a person inspired by Night Vale look like? How do they interact with others? What do they create? I don’t think you have to tone it down. I just think maybe you can try shifting your focus. Dream big. Dream a version of yourself that is molded and inspired by what you love.

Thanks for writing! Much love,

Kathleen

 

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